Desiree Serrano is Senior Counsel in Lozano Smith's Los Angeles office. Her practice focuses on the student, labor & employment and government relations aspects of education law. Ms. Serrano has extensive experience as general legal counsel for school districts. She presents trainings on a number of topics to school employees such as sexual harassment, discipline, cyberbullying, student searches, transgender student rights, contract drafting, Brown Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
She provides legal advice to administrators on personnel matters such as discipline, layoffs, discrimination complaints, disability accommodations, and leaves, in addition to preparing responses to DFEH and EEOC complaints and negotiating settlement agreements. She also has substantial experience with student issues including records, discipline, searches and constitutional issues.
While in Law School, Ms. Serrano worked as a Law Clerk for San Diego Unified School District, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles. She was also a Mediation Intern for the National Conflict Resolution Center and a Land Use Intern for the City of San Diego.
Ms. Serrano is a member of the California Bar and involved with the California Council of School Attorneys.
Ms. Serrano received her Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society, and minored in Education and Applied Psychology, from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Local educational agencies (LEAs) that participate in the national school lunch and school breakfast programs must update their school wellness policies to include new requirements for the 2017-18 school year. The requirements were included in regulations finalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service in 2016.
LEAs that participate in federal breakfast and lunch programs are required to create school wellness policies that describe...
In 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 375 (see 2015 Client News Brief No. 56), which allowed certificated school district employees to use differential leave for up to 12 weeks when they take baby bonding leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), effective January 1, 2016.
On September 30, 2016, the Governor signed AB 2393, which extends the rights afforded under AB 375 to classified employees of school and community college districts...
On May 23, 2016, the United States Department of Labor published updated overtime regulations that increase the minimum salary amount necessary for employees to be exempt from overtime pay requirements. The updated regulations (Final Rule) will take effect on December 1, 2016.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1983 (FLSA) requires an employer to pay an employee at an overtime rate if the employee works more than 40 hours in one week. Employees can be exempt from th...
The 2015-16 school year marks the first time that public elementary and secondary schools that offer "competitive athletics" must post data about the gender makeup of their teams and their student participation. Charter schools must also comply.
By June 30 of each school year starting in 2016, each school must make the following information available on its website:
1) The total enrollment of the school, classified by gender;
2) The number of pupils enrolled at th...
With texting and social media, it seems as though the line between school and “not school” are blurred. School districts are often faced with determining whether they can discipline a student for their conduct while not at school. In this episode, we discuss a school district’s ability to discipline a student for off-campus conduct and go over court cases that analyze this issue.